9 May 2022

The 2022 European Mental Health Week: It is time to speak up to shape a brighter future for young people

Brussels, Monday 9 May 2021 – the third edition of the European Mental Health Week on 9th-13th May 2022 is focusing on youth mental wellbeing.  This year’s theme ‘Speak up for Mental Health’ is shining the spotlight on youth mental health as a high-profile societal issue.

Young people in Europe are in a particularly vulnerable situation when it comes to mental health. Even far before the onset of the pandemic, the high rate of mental health problems among young people was concerning: one in five adolescents were at risk of experiencing a mental health problem in any given year.


Latest research and reports from many sources reveal that young people are among the groups more at risk of marginalisation and are impacted by socio-economic determinants of health and wellbeing. In addition to this, the consequences of the pandemic put further pressure on young people’s mental health. Many young people are finding that their lives have changed in unsettling ways.


Since half of the mental health problems affecting adults start during adolescence, the importance of increasing access to services, empowering young people and promoting their mental health cannot be emphasised enough.


Urgent and immediate policy action is needed, and we should start now to shape a brighter future for all. Addressing young people’s mental health is not only a question of guaranteeing their wellbeing and ensuring that they can realise their full potential. It is about building healthy and resilient societies. Mental Health Europe is releasing a set of Policy Asks during the Awareness Week to mobilise people behind them and outline the way forward to support young people’s mental health.  The details of these Policy Asks will be released on Thursday 12 May (14:30-15:30 CET) during a Webinar hosted by MHE.


Catherine Brogan (President, Mental Health Europe): “In speaking up for the mental health of our young people, it is important that we promote connectivity with each other, listen to the voice of young people, instil a sense of hope into our conversations on mental health to support young people to access help early, as well as aim to influence policy to ensure that the personal narrative of our youth and their unique identity as human beings does not become a series of labels.”


Claudia Marinetti (Director, Mental Health Europe): “Social distancing, disruptions in education, low household income, poor early childhood care, insecurity about employment, our planet and our safety are among the many factors that place a strain on our mental wellbeing, and on that of young people in particular. If we want to make a positive change and improve youth mental health, we need to take measures now and make the right investments. We know what works and what has been shown not to work. Let’s act! Young people are our future, and their mental health should matter to all of us including policymakers and decision-makers. 





About Mental Health Europe 


Mental Health Europe (MHE) is the largest European non-governmental network organisation committed to the promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing. We advocate for the improvement of care, social inclusion and the protection of the rights of (ex)users of mental health services, persons with psychosocial disabilities, their families and carers. We raise awareness to end mental health stigma and discrimination.  


Learn more about MHE from this video. Follow Mental Health Europe on social media. We are on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

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